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Yadier Molina, Cardinals discussing contract extension

The veteran catcher is seeking catching depth.

Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Cardinals have started extension talks with veteran catcher Yadier Molina and are hoping to reach an agreement before the end of spring training, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

Molina, 34, had a productive 2016 campaign, hitting .307/.360/.427 with eight home runs 58 RBIs over 147 games. Molina is entering the final season of the five-year deal he signed before 2013.

Though Molina has proven to be a valuable catching option, the Cardinals could end up using Molina a first base in the future. Catching prospect Carson Kelly will likely open the season in Triple-A but could complement Molina in the coming seasons if the two sides reach an extension.

Because Molina has emerged as one of the game’s best catchers, it’s likely a deal is reached. Give his age, Molina might be more inclined to sign a two or three year deal. However, according to Heyman, a Molina extension might set the stage for new deals for Russell Martin or Brian McCann.